Ariel Castro, who was sentenced to life in prison last month for abducting and sexually abusing three young women in his Cleveland home, hanged himself in his cell Tuesday night, according to preliminary results of an autopsy performed early Wednesday.

Image: Tony Dejak, AP

Castro, 53, was found at 9:20 p.m. ET hanging in his cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, where he was being held under protective custody.

Prison medical staff attempted lifesaving measures on the scene before he was transported to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. ET, according to JoEllen Smith spokeswoman with the Ohio Rehabilitation and Correction Department.

Franklin County coroner Jan Gorniak said preliminary results of the autopsy confirmed that Castro’s death was a suicide and the cause of death was hanging. She said toxicology tests would be completed later.

Castro was not under suicide watch, but was being checked on by guards every 30 minutes. Smith said in a statement that a “thorough review” of the incident was underway.

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